Thoughts on the Koran
Once again, it appears that segments of the Muslim word are all worked up about alleged 'mistreatment' of the Koran by Americans. Of course, in expression their displeasure, these folks inevitably burn, step on, spit on, etc, the American flag.
I've got a deal for you idiots: you stop disrespecting the American flag, and we'll be nicer to your damn book. Until then, we shall feel free to throw it in the toilet, piss on it, shit on it, spit on it, and slather it in bacon grease.
Belated Range Report
I've been meaning to do this for a while, but somehow never quite got around to it. I actually made it out to the range on each of the last two weekends. Did make some progress in reducing the load of ammo that I'm going to have to haul to Ft Lewis, although not as much as I would have liked.
The range expeditions were mostly Mosin festivals, with all three of my Mosins-a Soviet M38, and Finnish M39 and M91s getting trigger time, plus my Yugo M48A and beater M59/66 SKS.
Much to my surprise, the M38, at least when firing Czech silvertip ammo, was the best performer of the group, even bettering the M39, which I'd truthfully expected more from, given the multitude of gunboard posts I'd read comparing it favorably to the Swiss K-31, accuracy wise. Actually, the more I fire it, the more I love the little M38. It's relatively light,, and very handy size-wise. If you put a slip-on recoil pad on it, it doesn't even beat your shoulder up too badly. The sights are about the best you can ask for short of aperature sights, although it would be nice to be able to adjust for windage. About the only downside is it only slightly quieter than a 155mm howitzer. When firing under a metal roof, this is magnified even further.
Back to how well the rifle actually did. I put 40 rounds of 147 grain Czech silvertip through the M38 the first trip, with 10 rounds each of Wolf 147 grain and Brown Bear 185 grain the second. Grouping at both 50 and 75 yards was best with the Czech ammo, although it was not a totally fair comparison since I fired the Wolf and Brown Bear left handed. I did the left handed experiment to see if the how difficult it was to work the bolt that way. It wasn't that difficult, and actually made the bolt easier to open after the gun heated up and the bolt started to stick. The M38 can't be called a tack-driver by any means (and, truthfully, neither can I), but if I could find a soft point load that performs as well as the silvertips, I wouldn't feel uncomfortable putting a scout scope on this M38 and taking it out after deer or hogs.
The M39, like I said, disappointed me a bit. Maybe this was because I'd read so much about how accurate these rifles are as a type. The groups weren't bad, really, although, as I noted earlier, not as good as those produced by the M38 firing the Czech silvertip ammo. I put 20 rounds each of Brown Bear 185 grain, Wolf 148 grain, Olympic 180 grain, and S&B 180 grain. The S&B and Brown Bear performed the best, with Wolf doing the worst, although the Olympic didn't beat it out by much. The trigger also botthered me a bit, having a good bit of very loose slack, leading up to a very light a short pull. The light pull is nice, but I found it very tough to tell where exactly the break point was.
The M91 didn't do so well, but I also didn't expect much from it. Truthfully, given the exterior condition, I was happy that it was hitting the paper consistently, even it it was low (I thought these things were built so that you sighted on the enemy's belt buckle and hit him in the gut?) Trigger feel was surprisingly good, better than the M39. The sights, however, aren't so great. Actually, they reminded me of Mauser sights, and sights are pretty much the only consistent complaint I've seen about the Mauser military rifles. The pointy front sight is just harder to focus on that a square topped front sight post.
The M48A is slowly starting to grow on me. It has the annoying Mauser pointy front sight post, and the bolt is stiff, especially once the gun gets heated up, but I'm getting better groups the more I fire it, and the bolt is slowly (very, very slowly) getting less stiff. I actually decided to goof off a bit with the last box (15 rounds) of ammo, taking 75 yard potshots at a tennis ball and a water bottle. Surprisingly, I hit the tennis ball a couple of times (at 75 yards, it's mostly luck, since I could barely see the thing) and hit the water bottle with 2 of 4 shots.
Incidentally, on all the bolt guns, the bolts became difficult to turn once they heated up. With the Mosins, I might be inclined to think this was because of the laquer build up you always read about with Russky rifles. But the Mauser has never been fed anything but brass cased Ecuadoran ammo. Is this just because of the metal expanding as it heats up?
Once I got done with the bolt guns, I broke out the SKS. After having to cycle the bolt after every shot with the bolt guns, the SKS was really just for fun. I blasted through a good pile of ammo (not sure how much, really) in rapid fashion. Not worrying about anything approaching precision accuracy (still hitting the target, though), just merrily blasting away. It was a good thing I had the firing line to myself, as the SKS was throwing shell casings with enthusiasm. I could hear the rattle of many of them bouncing off the roof over the firing line, and found casings as far a three positions down the line. If I didn't drive onto a military base where I'm not allowed to store the rifle in the trunk, this SKS would be riding in my trunk constantly. I'm that confident with it.
These might well be my last trips to the range before moving day. About the most fun you can have by yourself.
Gotta Love It
Revenge of the Bitch. And no, it has nothing to do with your ex-girlfriend.
Who Says the CIA is Humorless?
The CIA's Office of General Counsel's Recruiting page.
Great Stuff from Mosul
Michael Yon has some great stuff from Mosul in northern Iraq. It's long, but read the whole thing.
HT: Head's Bunker
More Thoughts on Markmanship Training
Earlier this month, I posted my thoughts on changes that the Army is making to it's Basic Rifle Marksmanship training in Basic Training.
After managing to get to the range two times over the last two weekends, I've come up with some additional thoughts.
The main idea has to do with how fundamentals are taught. Currently, new soldiers start off learning on the M-16 right away. The primary advantage of this is that it maximizes familiarirty with the Army's most common weapon.
I've come to the conclusion that teaching the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship (Steady Position, Breath Control, Sight Picture, and Trigger Squeeze) on semi-auto rifles of any type is not the best way to do it, especially when it comes to steady position and sight picture. I think that teaching the fundmentals using bolt action rifles at first would be a much better idea.
I say this because much of what you're trying to build when teaching the fundamentals is repeatability: getting the new shooter to do the right thing on a consistent basis. Right now, rather than getting the soldiers to get into a good steady position and get the proper sight picture on a consistent basis, we teach them to get into a good position to start with and then no change it.
One of the things I noticed on m last couple of trips to the range, when I was shooting primarily bolt guns (Mosin M38, M39 (Finn), and M91 (Finn), Mauser M48A, and K-31) was that I had to break down my shooting position (to work the bolt and get my nose clear of same) after every shot. And in order to get consistent shot groups, I had to get back into a good position, and make sure to get a good, consistent sight picture, after every shot. The more I shot, the better I got at this, and for the most part, my shot groups improved, at least until my shoulder started hurting.
How would I do this in basic training? Well, first, I'd have to get a suitable bot gun. I'd go for something in whatever the standard service caliber was, 5.56mm for now. Not terribly picky about which particular action I'd use, but I'd make give the stock a pistol grip like that on the standard service rifle (M-16 for now). Then I'd add at least 3, preferably 4 or 5, extra days of training. Day One would be grouping-just getting them to shoot consistent groups. Day Two, zeroing (oh, my boltie would have the same type iron sights as the service rifle as well). Day Three (and Four, if I could swing it), Known Distance Ranges. AFter this, I'd transistion over to the service rifle.
I think this would do much better than the current system at actually teaching soldiers how to properly execute the fundamentals of BRM, rather than simply 'teaching to the test' as we largely do right now.
Has It Been Two Weeks Already?
Chrenkoff's biweekly Iraq update.